Firehawk - Thexder 2: Enhanced HDD version

by sd_snatcher on 31-08-2011, 10:56
Topic: Software
Languages:

It has taken over ten years (on and off) and a lot of assistance, including help from our active MRC forums, and now it's ready! sd_snatcher is proud to present a new enhanced game that can be installed onto HDD: Fire Hawk. The highlights of this version:

  • Turbofixed. Now the game runs properly at any CPU speed. VDPs with a turbo blitter mode are also supported (like OneChipMSX has).
  • Hard-disk installable, but can be installed on floppydisks as well.
  • The game now passes on both MSX Acid1Test and Acid2Test. This means it is now fully compliant to the MSX coding guidelines and absolutely no illegal direct hardware access is done anywhere. It just runs as a normal MSX-DOS ".COM" application.
  • A lot of optimizations were made, and the game now runs better and much more smoother (less slowdowns) than the original game. Of course it runs even better on machines that have turbo.
  • Added support for the Megadrive joypad connected though a joymega adapter. See the README file for the button mapping.
  • Multi-language support. You can change between English and Japanese by typing "SETLANG EN" or "SETLANG JP", respectively, at the MSX-DOS2 prompt.
  • Exit to DOS implemented on the Main Menu. It's now possible to quit the game without needing to reboot.
  • The troublesome and limited RTC load/savegame routines were replaced by a brand new load/savegame on disk. This has advantages:
    a) Allows multiple savegames even for those who don't own a PAC
    b) Savegames can be easily transferred from one MSX to another or to emulators by just copying the FIREHAWK.PAC file
    c) The generated FIREHAWK.PAC file is standard and compatible with the PAC managers around there, so the savegames can be copied to/from a real PAC
    d) Real PAC (SRAM) support is still built-in and available by using a command-line switch.
  • Hold the TAB key to throttle the game speed (if your machine has enough CPU speed, of course)
  • Enhanced the FM detection routine, and now it has the following preference order for detection: MSX-Audio BIOS v1.3, internal MSX-Music, external MSX-Music.
  • Added support for the PSG->OPL3/4 translation routines of the (yet unreleased) MSX-Audio BIOS v1.3. Those routines will be used on OPL3 and OPL4 cartridges that have the BIOS. This results on all sound being produced by a single chip, thus eliminating discrepancies that most MSX have on the mixing volumes between the chips. It also provides an elegant solution for running the game with the turbo enabled on Panasonic 2+ machines (FS-A1WSX/WX/FX) or on machines with homemade turbos. Because on those machines the internal PSG sound pitch goes off tune when the turbo is enabled.
  • A mixer for the PSG is now implemented. Use the new tool PSGMIXER to set the PSG volume attenuation. This will help on machines that have the PSG volume much louder than the OPLL volume, like the MSX Turbo-R.
  • Replaced the keep-key-pressed-on-load configuration routine by a new one that receives command line parameters. Also, a command-line help is now available.
  • If present, the SystemTimer will also be used to enhance the random number generator.
  • Fixed all graphic glitches, solved by a new page-flipping routine that also eliminates tearing completely. Both tiles and sprites are now doublebuffered/page-flipped.
  • Fixed the bug that caused the robot image to be corrupted on the first 4 frames on the beginning of the game.
  • Fixed the corruption of the ASCII table characters that caused the wrong apostrophe on phrases like "ATTACK NEDIAM'S ENGINE BLOCK!", on the briefing screen.
  • The game will detect and politely refuse on a MSX1 computer instead of just crashing
  • If there's enough free DOS memory, the game will not freeze after the "The End" anymore. At least the free memory equivalent of MSX-DOS1 with CTRL pressed is needed for this (In other words, BDOS must be higher than the address DC06h).
  • A lot of polishing here and there.

Relevant link: Fire Hawk - Thexder 2: Enhanced HDD version

Comments (43)

By ro

Guardian (4012)

ro's picture

31-08-2011, 11:33

oh man! stop giving us all those goods, it hurts!

well done, hats off.

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5353)

JohnHassink's picture

31-08-2011, 11:34

Extremely impressive. Smile
By the way, when no SRAM is present, the game stores progress using the clockchip.
There used to be a little cheat program which exploited this feature.

By konamiman

Paladin (952)

konamiman's picture

31-08-2011, 11:47

Use the new tool PSGMIXER to set the PSG volume attenuation
ABSOLUTELY GREAT!!! The extremely high PSG volume on this game was really annoying. Time to revisit this classic!

By Retrofan

Paragon (1214)

Retrofan's picture

31-08-2011, 12:27

Great! And what about the MSX AUDIO BIOS v1.3: Can this BIOS now be flashed into the MegaFlashROM or loaded into memory and take advantage of the MoonSound? (stereo sound!)

By OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1208)

OeiOeiVogeltje's picture

31-08-2011, 15:30

Very nice
keep them comming!!

By Sander

Ambassador (1831)

Sander's picture

31-08-2011, 16:37

Quite impressive!

By viejo_archivero

Paragon (1372)

viejo_archivero's picture

31-08-2011, 17:28

Just awesome. /me bows

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6029)

ARTRAG's picture

31-08-2011, 18:16

well done! The dsk file gives error under bluemsx after having executed FH.COM. I eager to test it on real hw

By KdL

Paragon (1131)

KdL's picture

31-08-2011, 18:57

<Great! And what about the MSX AUDIO BIOS v1.3: Can this BIOS now be flashed into the MegaFlashROM or loaded into memory and take advantage of the MoonSound? (stereo sound!)>

...will be possible??????????? Cool

By Latok

msx guru (3581)

Latok's picture

31-08-2011, 19:19

The DSK-version gives a boot error on blueMSX turboR emulation?

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6029)

ARTRAG's picture

31-08-2011, 20:44

yes

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2879)

sd_snatcher's picture

31-08-2011, 20:49

well done! The dsk file gives error under bluemsx after having executed FH.COM. I eager to test it on real hw

From the README.TXT file: Smile

You must run FIREHAWK.COM

FH.COM is the wrong file.

By Latok

msx guru (3581)

Latok's picture

31-08-2011, 21:27

I don't even get to DOS. In BlueMSX, the MSX boots and immediately states the boot error :/

By hap

Paragon (2014)

hap's picture

31-08-2011, 21:59

did you try it on your MSX Latok?
It sounds like you're complaining to sd_snatcher about a user error (yes, Latok can make mistakes), or a bluemsx bug Tongue

By Latok

msx guru (3581)

Latok's picture

31-08-2011, 22:04

Or maybe a corrupted DSK file? Smile

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6029)

ARTRAG's picture

31-08-2011, 22:09

My fault! Sorry! On bluemsx it works perfectly running firehawk.com

By Latok

msx guru (3581)

Latok's picture

31-08-2011, 22:21

Now I see it's an IDE DSK-file? So you have to install IDE interface in blueMSX in order to be able to boot this DSK-file, right? I also tried copying all the files to a map and tried to mount this map in blueMSX as a drive. Also no success. Result: Disk Offline. Probably because there are too many files in the map?

Sigh, let's copy the files to my real MSX, that'll work Smile

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6029)

ARTRAG's picture

31-08-2011, 22:28

In bluemsx:
- emulate an msxTR
- plug the Sunrise IDE in slot 1 (it is in the special menu)
- mount the DSK file in the HD menu (under IDE0 Sunrise Primary)

It will boot in dos with the HD named as A:\ disk
find the file firehawk.com and run it

By Latok

msx guru (3581)

Latok's picture

31-08-2011, 22:30

Thx ARTRAG Smile I don't have the Sunrise IDE ROM though :/

Am now copying the files to my turboR Smile

By WORP3

Paladin (803)

WORP3's picture

31-08-2011, 23:13

Wow, respect, great release !

Is there a reason that i keep getting an out of ram error on my ocm ?
Does trying it to run with msxdos1 really work or is that just a waste of time ?

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2879)

sd_snatcher's picture

01-09-2011, 00:28

Is there a reason that i keep getting an out of ram error on my ocm ?
Does trying it to run with msxdos1 really work or is that just a waste of time ?

1) Why are you running MSX-DOS1 on an OCM when you can boot MSX-DOS2 on an SD-Card? Smile

2) The game runs on MSX-DOS1 if you boot the MSX with CTRL pressed and there's only one drive on the system. Probably the internal MegaSD interface of your OCM is adding an aditional drive. BUT, even with CTRL pressed, MSX-DOS1 can have the issue described below:

The disk#1 will run just fine. You will be able to play PRACTICE and the stages 1-4. But when you change disks, the Disk-BIOS1 begins to read incomplete files. It seems to be a bug inside the DiskBIOS1, and it happens only on some disk-interfaces, while others are not affected. I.e., it happens on my Panasonic FS-A1ST, but my Sony HB-F1XDJ isn't affected.

I don't know exactly what triggers the bug and how to work-around it.

But keep in mind that MSX-DOS2 will run the game from floppies without any trouble. So, if you have MSX-DOS2 and don't have an HDD/CF/SD interface (as is the case of many Turbo-R owners), you can play the game without any worries.

By SLotman

Paragon (1203)

SLotman's picture

01-09-2011, 01:04

sd_snatcher: thanks for another outstanding work!!!

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2879)

sd_snatcher's picture

01-09-2011, 02:20

Oh, my! While explaining the problem to WORP3 I had a glance on what could be causing it, and it worked! Big smile

I'm now working on some minor collateral effects of the fix, and will release a new version after I finish testing it.

BTW, the problem was caused because HTIMI was never being called. It seems that some disk interfaces really need that to work properly.

By Sama

Ambassador (2060)

Sama's picture

01-09-2011, 02:28

Great work, but it makes me sad to see once again that someone uses a translation I made without even taking the effort to ask me whether or not it's okay. Nice of you to thank me for making the translation, but it's quite pointless when you use it without even asking. And I'm at a loss. I greatly appreciate initiatives like this, games being enhanced and stuff, which is also a reason why I'm not that a bad person to talk to when it comes to asking permission to use things I created, but on the other hand it's done with quite some impertinence.

I could ask the people who made this to cut out the English translation, because it's my work and I didn't even know they were planning for something like this. And that would make me a bad guy, because I would do something that keeps MSX fans from enjoying this work as much as they could. But on the other hand, it was I who once made the efforts to make that translation and it's not nice to see people doing as they please with your efforts. In no case did I ever declare the English translation of Firehawk freeware, which is stated in the text file that comes with the download. But guys, really, I'm not a recluce hiding somewhere. If you think it would be cool to include my translation, you could also just ask.

So, in short, this patch comes with my translation and I didn't give permission for it. But I won't do anything about it. It's up to the guys who made the stuff to solve this, if they want to. It's not up to me. I guess.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2879)

sd_snatcher's picture

01-09-2011, 05:21

@Sama

First, please excuse myself. It was my mistake, as I was wrongly recalling that you had asked about the English version on the MSX Forum, and by that I assumed it was Ok with you. I just checked and it wasn't you that asked it. Sorry.

I deleted the files from the server for now. Don't get me wrong, I don't think you're "the bad guy". The matter is that I also have my own works with their respective conditions/licenses, and as the complaint was made in public, I had the moral obligation to act.

Folks, don't worry: I'll release an updated version 1.3 (fixing the MSX-DOS1 disk2 problem) very soon, and it will probably be released as a pack of tools for extracting the files from the DSK images, then a series of patches for each file. This way is similar to the ROM patches I release, and by keeping to the patch-only philosophy I avoid in putting myself in embarrassing situations like this one.

If someone has a better solution than IPS for patching games that have a lot of files like this one, I'll be glad to hear it. Because by using IPS there will be a lot of IPS patches for a single game. And I'll need the solution for the next HDD game releases.

By KdL

Paragon (1131)

KdL's picture

01-09-2011, 06:32

with 1chipMSX 5.37MHz + Command2.44 work very very fine!!! LOL!

By WORP3

Paladin (803)

WORP3's picture

01-09-2011, 08:52

1) Why are you running MSX-DOS1 on an OCM when you can boot MSX-DOS2 on an SD-Card?

I never did tel that i'm running msx-dos1, i do run msx-dos 2.x but when i try running firehawk i keep getting the message that their isn't enough memory and that i running it with the "run in msx-dos 1"program could fix the problem.
As i don't have that program yet i asked if it is going to work that way or that it is going to be a waste of time trying Wink

But seeing your reaction, did you see the problem yourself ?

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2879)

sd_snatcher's picture

01-09-2011, 18:29

@WARP3

What are the versions of the MSXDOS2.SYS and COMMAND2.COM you're using?

By WORP3

Paladin (803)

WORP3's picture

01-09-2011, 23:33

version .sys: 2.30
version kernel: 2.31
version .com: 2.31

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2879)

sd_snatcher's picture

02-09-2011, 00:16

Try using:

MSX-DOS.SYS v2.20
COMMAND.COM v2.44

Note: There's no advantage of MSX-DOS.SYS 2.31 over v2.20, and 2.31 uses more memory.

OTOH, COMMAND.COM v2.44 is much better than 2.31, and 2.44 also leaves more free memory.

By Samor

Paragon (1993)

Samor's picture

02-09-2011, 12:50

with the original version of the game, when you let the music in stage 1 play for a long time, you can hear one of the fm channels decreasing in volume every loop, until it dissapears completely.
Was this fixed as well (if it even was a known bug)?

By mesiasmsx

Prophet (3065)

mesiasmsx's picture

02-09-2011, 20:31

The link for real MSX is broken, i use firefox.

Not Found

The requested URL /files/FireHawk-HDD.zip was not found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6029)

ARTRAG's picture

03-09-2011, 08:36

same for the other file
what is going on?Question

By hap

Paragon (2014)

hap's picture

03-09-2011, 09:11

uhh... the reason+clarification is in the thread comments over here:
click, or maybe smart enough to scroll up

By WORP3

Paladin (803)

WORP3's picture

04-09-2011, 09:02

I've updated my dos and FireHawk is working now.
It's just great to be able to play one of my favorite games from my hdd, great work Big smile

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2879)

sd_snatcher's picture

07-09-2011, 04:43

I just released a new version, v1.4, of the FireHawk-HDD, with the following enhancements:

  • Fixed a bug that caused problems when changing disks on MSX-DOS1
  • Fixed the HTIMI handling. Now the drive stops normally on floppy interfaces that do this by software.
  • Updated the disk-check routines
  • Released as an auto-install patch, to avoid any copyright issues

By Akiguchi

Hero (608)

Akiguchi's picture

16-12-2012, 21:16

Does anyone know about the bug in Firehawk that occurs in mission 3 end boss? If I die at the boss and hit the continue, the game gets slow and the graphics are all messed up. And if I die again with all things messed up and press continue, the game just jumps to the beginning of the 3rd stage. And also it seems on the Youtube longplay that the boss of 3rd mission is very easy and quite fast to kill, but I just could not kill it when shooting it to the middle for long time. Is there some trick to it or is this maybe doings of that graphics bug? I use the version 1.4. on Sunrise CF fat16 with Turbo R and MSXDOS 2.44.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2879)

sd_snatcher's picture

17-12-2012, 17:26

@Akiguchi

That is one of the hardest bosses of the game. It really takes quite some time to kill it. The youtube video cheats with a trainer that increases the laser power a lot.

About the graphic corruption: what version of the MSX-DOS2.SYS are you using? It's best to use the v2.20, since the v2.30 and v2.31 just eats up extra RAM without any additional benefits.

By Akiguchi

Hero (608)

Akiguchi's picture

17-12-2012, 19:01

Oh, so it was cheat video then. I guess I have to do my best to beat up that boss's ass! Wink

My MSX-DOS2.SYS is v2.31 so I'll try the v2.20 to see if it helps. Thanks for the tips!

By Akiguchi

Hero (608)

Akiguchi's picture

19-12-2012, 22:17

sd_snatcher wrote:

@Akiguchi

That is one of the hardest bosses of the game. It really takes quite some time to kill it. The youtube video cheats with a trainer that increases the laser power a lot.

About the graphic corruption: what version of the MSX-DOS2.SYS are you using? It's best to use the v2.20, since the v2.30 and v2.31 just eats up extra RAM without any additional benefits.

Testing again... So, I changed the MSX-DOS2.SYS to v2.20 and beat that boss in one go (so the graphics bug wasn't tested yet).

Then I got to the fourth mission and died at the boss there and hit the continue and the graphics were still messed up. Then I died again and hit the continue which got me to the start of the level 4. So what do you think might be the cause of this? It is of course playable, but the bosses must be beaten at one go which makes it a bit hard, to say so. Smile

By OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1208)

OeiOeiVogeltje's picture

09-02-2013, 18:27

@ SAMA

i just checked and it seems your website isnt active anymore (or at least it seems so).
Cant you give FRS pesmission to use your patch so that he can offer the download "ready-to-go"?
this patching stuff doesnt seem to work for me (and others) and just is a pain

thanks

By Meits

Scribe (5203)

Meits's picture

20-02-2017, 21:09

Hi!

I tried this patching four years ago and it didn't work, so I left it like that. Now I received a fully patched HDD version from a friend and passed this to yet another friend. He found out there were gfx bugs in stage 2 so I ran the game as well to find out if I was suffering the same. Up to then I didn't read the above about DOS2 versions.
I didn't suffer gfx bugs in stage 2. It just crashed while loading stage 3.
This made me try and patch my own DSK files which are already english. While the script scrolled I noticed some errors, but since this went so fast I couldn't see what they were about. Probably about my Japanese DSK files missing or something.
I ran the output files but it crashed straight after the Game Arts logo.
Then I got a working patched version from yet another guy, but this suffered the same crash while loading stage 3.

Running a turbo R with command2.44 here. I wonder if anyone with this setup got past my crash point.

By Sepulep

Supporter (10)

Sepulep's picture

05-10-2018, 11:34

works here, but I had to change the script bin/firehawk_extractfiles.sh, in line 49:
count=${VALUES[0]} -> count=$((${VALUES[0]}))
(apparently on (my?) linux dd doesn't accept hex numbers)

also, you have to be a bit careful to match the filenames and casing (and I had to search a bit for the uips utility,
(available at https://github.com/chungy/cmdpack)

My MSX profile